5 Mini Motivational Strategies To Maintain The Mojo

Oh motivation, why are you so damn fleeting?!

When the conference ends, the race is over, the group workout is finished and/or your phone or computer battery is dead, do you ever feel like your personal cheering section has abandoned you?  When real life sets in with all of the every day obligations, commitments and responsibilities that adults need to master every day, finding motivation to reach a goal is not an easy task.

 

motivational_quote_tough_times_are_like_physical_exercise

Keeping consistent motivation has always been difficult for me.  Earlier this year, I came up with my own #optimistflip philosophy about working hard to take the every day negatives and attempting to turn them into positives.   To ensure a departure from the “glass half empty” view of the world, I went as far as to use the lyric from Bastille song “Pompeii” of “How am I going to be an optimist about this?” as my 2014 mantra.  Living in LA, you listen to the radio a lot so it wasn’t unusual to hear my mantra 10 times a day at least.  Lately, however, the mantra lyrics aren’t the one’s that have hit home.  Instead it’s been:

 

But if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
Nothing changed at all?

 


And if you close your eyes,
Does it almost feel like
You’ve been here before?

 

The answers were yes and yes.  Being consistently inconsistent was not going to get me to my #14in2014 goals.  The vortex of fear and paralysis is a strong one. Finding ways to motivate oneself are not easy but I’m giving these 5 mini motivators a shot because I don’t want it to be December 31st and have it feel like “nothing changed at all”:

 

1.  Feed The A.D.D.

I have both professional and fitness A.D.D.  It’s easy to get distracted from work tasks by going down the social media rabbit hole and from fitness by letting the bed (or the NetFlix) win sometimes.  Instead of fighting the A.D.D., I’m feeding it.  I’m planning breaks in my workdays (even if it means writing down what I need to do hour by hour some days).  Fitness-wise, I’m filling my runs with Galloway intervals and trying classes that are tailor made for my short attention span like the Cycle and Shred (25 minutes of Cycling and 25 minutes of Megaformer) at Studio Metamorphosis in Pasadena and the Interval Class (Treadmill and Weights AMRAP (As Many Reps As Possible) at Sweat Garage in West Hollywood.

Sweat Garage, WeHo, AMRAP

SweatGarage with Jennifer@RealMomofSFV and the amazing Derek Ringold of Sweat Garage.

I’m getting small things done consistently.  The fitness is definitely more successful with this tactic than the professional but it’s a start.

 

2.  Listen To Your Body

Which voice is louder in your head, the negative or the positive?  Getting sleep, eating healthy and hearing what your body tells you isn’t easy but it’s imperative.  Working through lunch, getting to bed late or pushing too hard in a workout may feel like a victory but the bottom line is that the body suffers.  Especially if you have a chronically injured body.

take-care-of-your-body

Twice last week, I had to back off from my workout because my back was aching.  Pushing harder was what my mind wanted to do but my body was talking loud and clear.  I knew if I didn’t listen, I’d be benched for a lot longer than a day or two and the repercussions would be in both the fitness and professional realms.

 

3.  Reward Yourself

I hate the expression “Don’t reward yourself with food, you’re not a dog”.  IMHO,  if a green tea latte, a prepared salad or even a fabulous piece of chocolate can make you feel good about your accomplishments, go for it!  Small rewards that help reinforce daily healthy behaviors are powerful.  Food nourishes more than just our bodies sometimes.

Brooks Running, Brooks Adrenaline, runner

Meet the new boss, same as the old boss. Brooks Adrenaline Running Shoes.

I’m rewarding myself weekly:  I bought a new pair of running shoes (way overdue) last week and a Duran Duran tank top this week.  Tangible reminders of positive progress can’t be bad.

 

4.  Check In With Your Motivators

If you’re lucky, you have a constant support system or friends you can call when you feel the motivation start to wane.  If you’re not so lucky, we all have social media motivators that are only a click away.  There’s a reason that memes are so popular, it’s because they resonate with people!  There are so many people on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and throughout the blogosphere who can right the day’s wrongs with their words, images, stories, recipes, workout photos, motivational sayings or movie quotes who have no idea how much impact they have on others.  Some of my favorite motivators include – Alan@Sweating_It_Off on Instagram, Kimberly@ManifestYourself, Allie@VitaTrainForLife, Elizabeth@FlourishInProgress, Danielle@TRexRunner, Ali@AliOnTheRun, Melissa@MelissaRunningIt and Chris@WhatIRunInto but there are so many!

 

5.  Chunk Your Goals

The Big Fat Hairy Goal is scary and often intimidating.  Having more than one of these BFHG’s at a time makes someone like me freeze into a panic.  Just identifying a few mini goals or chunking out a path to meet a larger goal has reduced some of the Big Fat Hairiness for now.  A few small victories can start a stream of positive reinforcement for the long haul.

Professionally, the goals are the more intimidating.  This may need to be the week to write those suckers down baby step by baby step.  Summer break (and clearing out 75 boxes from the NYC apartment) is hectic but those goals still need to be clear even if they don’t get checked off the list as quickly as I’d like.

In fitness, despite my achy back and my lousy half marathon history,  the 13.1 taunts me like a most delicious Vosges Black Pearl Truffle (if you have never had one, I can’t say enough good things) so I’m working toward getting the strength and stamina to get me closer.  I did a 4 mile relay race last week, the Awesome 80’s 5K coming up and of course, there’s the 2nd Annual Duran Duran Appreciation Day 10K in the very near future.  Building strength and stamina are of the utmost importance right now to ensure long-term fitness.

marathon, 26.2, Rock n Roll

15 years ago, a marathon was my goal. Who knows what the future will bring?

Here’s hoping that the BFHG will soon seem small and crushable!

What or who keeps you motivated? 

Comments

  1. says

    This is so great (and thank you for including me in your motivators!!) it seems like you really have a handle on how to work this. You’re doing and thinking and writing ALL the right things. When you’re head is in the right place – your body will follow it’s lead. Go get it!!!
    Allie Burdick recently posted…BIG NEWS! I’m A Fly GirlMy Profile

    • says

      Let’s hope so Allie because my back has been aching and it’s pissing me off. I know I need to do more strength training but the thought of getting into a gym makes me bored to tears. The idea of putting more thought and effort into strategic strengthening just isn’t fun but the alternative sucks a lot.

  2. says

    It all sounds so simple when you put it into one list that way, but soooo spot on!
    Lots going on (as always), but your post is perfect timing as I’ve been trying to focus on a few of the things on your list lately!

    That’s a rockstar list of motivators & I’m one humbled & lucky girl to be on it!!

    xoxo
    Melissa recently posted…Hulk SmashMy Profile

    • says

      I love reading your writing and seeing your Instagrams. You really do keep me inspired not only in physical fitness but in being a person with heart and sharing your struggles of the human condition. Thank you! I’m so glad the blogging world has brought us together. Have I said that before? I think I have but you know senility creeps up on you….

  3. says

    I love your idea of mini goals! I need to make myself some mini goals too. I get ADD about things too. I have grand plans and then I don’t follow through because I get distracted by something else. I need to work on it!
    Britt@MyOwnBalance recently posted…Boston to Cape CodMy Profile

    • says

      I’m hoping that breaking the goals into mini things to do will help me get some of the things done. The ADD gets especially bad when there’s too much going on at once but when is it only one thing, right?

    • says

      Thank you Kymberly – your compliment means a ton! I respect you and Alexandra as writers immensely so this comment is especially lovely to read.

      The Duran Duran shirt hasn’t arrived yet but when it does, I’ll definitely let you know. It may make an appearance at the Awesome 80’s Run in August.

  4. says

    I definitely do better with motivation from a team or group. That’s why CrossFit group workouts were so much better for me than being at home on my own, or running with a group keeps me consistent while running on my own I’m kind of…hit and miss. As much as I don’t feel like it’s true sometimes….I NEED PEOPLE!
    Running Hutch recently posted…Rough Starts | More Than MilesMy Profile

    • says

      I get what you’re saying. I often like to be alone (I hated when people used to try to strike up conversations with me at the gym when I used to workout at a gym) but in fitness, I do better when someone is telling me what to do and when to do it (which is nothing like I am in real life). Yup, sometimes we need people. I guess that’s why the blogosphere works for me too – I get people but not within my personal space.

Trackbacks

  1. […] Mini Motivational Strategies, Maximum ResultsIt’s easy to stay motivated when things are going well, but how can you stay consistently ready to take on fresh challenges — from a new workout to a killer presentation at work? This blogger developed five mini motivational strategies to keep her going. Test ‘em out and let us know if they work for you. (The Valentine RD)  […]

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